Jacobsen Considers Amateurs Lifeblood
``Amateurs are the lifeblood of a PGA Tour,'' Jacobsen said. ``The (pro) players think it's about them but it's not about them. It's about the amateurs and the corporate support we get around the country.
``I think the tournaments that we play on tour, I would include the AT&T, at Disney World, any tournament where we can play an amateur component is very important. I like meeting new people and having a chance to play with amateurs and play with celebrities.''
Jacobsen will have ample opportunity to meet new people at the Hope, a 90-hole tournament where every pro is teamed with a different trio of amateurs each day for the first four days before going it alone on Sunday.
He said he has never been distracted by playing with amateurs or celebrities.
``I played in the Pebble Beach tournament for 18 years with Jack Lemmon, for heavens sake,'' he said. ``We'd have 160 yards and he would say, 'What do you think?' I would say, 'Jack, it's a 9-iron, or 4-wood, it doesn't matter. You hit all of them the same distance anyway.'''
Jacobsen's six career wins include the Hope in 1990, and at Pebble Beach in 1995.
He vividly recalls the Hope victory.
``I remember walking up 18 and I had to two-putt for a birdie to win the tournament, to beat (Scott Simpson and Brian Tennyson) by one stroke, and Bob and Delores Hope were on the 18th green with my wife clapping and saying, 'Oh, you've done it!'
``I said, 'Yeah, I've got to two-putt from 52 feet, Bob. Have a chair, grab a cold one and wait.'''
Jacobsen, 48, said he learned to respect pro-ams from observing some of the top players when he came on to the tour.
``I have three amateurs with me and it's my job first and foremost to make sure each of those three players has the best day he's ever going to have on a golf course,'' he said. ``Not to say my golf is secondary, but it's not as important as having those guys have a great day.
``That's my perspective, probably not shared by a lot of players out here. I learned that perspective from players who came before me, like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Fuzzy Zoeller and Chi Chi Rodriguez ' guys that got it.''
Jacbosen feels so strongly that he wishes the PGA Tour would require players to compete in the Hope and at Pebble Beach since ``you have a chance to rub elbows with the corporate CEOs.''
``And I would also tell these guys, 'Look, if you had a chance to play on a Saturday afternoon with Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Sorbo and Joe Pesci, would you enjoy that?
``Yeah, you probably would,'' Jacobsen said.
``So why don't you just enjoy it during the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, because all those guys come out because of the (golf) stars, the David Duvals, the Phil Mickelsons, the Tiger Woods. They want to play with them.''
Mickelson is back to defend his title in the Hope, and 1999 champion Duval is also in the field. Woods has never played the tournament.
``I would hate to see tournaments like this start to go away,'' Jacobsen said. ``A lot of players need a refresher course on how important the amateur involvement is.''
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:
Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)
Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)
Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.
1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.
Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.
Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.
“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”
It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.
Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.
“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”
It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.
McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.
But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.
“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.
“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.
“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”
McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.
“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”
McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.